Make sure your vehicle complies with environmental and road safety regulations, and avoid hefty fees by taking your car or motorcycle for its annual MOT check. Since you must have your vehicle tested annually, this means that an MOT lasts for one year only, which makes the selection of a reliable test center very important.
Before making your MOT booking, check that the centre is approved by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency); such centers are easily recognizable by the blue sign with 3 white triangles they must carry. Once you’ve decided on a centre, contact it to book your slot. You may be required to arrive some minutes earlier for the center to have time to handle your registration. An MOT test typically lasts from 45 minutes to an hour, and you can choose to assist from a viewing area as long as you do not interfere with the inspection. If you cannot, or choose not to assist, it is worth enquiring whether the MOT centre can return your vehicle to a nearby location of your convenience.
Retesting your vehicle
If the MOT check finds that your vehicle needs repairs, and you wish to have your car or motorcycle retested in full once these are carried out elsewhere, you will have to pay again exactly the same test fee that you were charged initially.
There are some exceptions, however, namely taking your vehicle back for a partial retest within 10 working days of the initial inspection (this will only cost you a partial fee), or taking it away for repairs and returning to the same test centre the next working day (in this case, you won’t be charged again). In the latter scenario, the partial retest can be done for one or more of the following vehicle parts: battery, doors, horn, lamps, mirrors, registration plates, electrical wiring, seats and steering wheel; the list is much longer, and can be checked online in full. Class 5 vehicles can also be retested free of charge before the end of the following working day for emergency exits and signs, entrance and exit steps, stairs, door open warning devices, etc; class 5 vehicles include private passenger vehicles and ambulances with more than 13 passenger seats or with a seatbelt installation check, as well as playbuses.
Note that fees vary depending on vehicle type and class, number of passenger seats, gross weight, etc. So, while the maximum MOT cost for a standard motorcycle is £29.65, a class 5 vehicle with a seatbelt installation check and more than 16 passenger seats can rise up to £124.50. Finally, bear in mind that even vehicles that are exempt from paying road tax are still required to hold a valid MOT certificate.